Leica M Monochrom Only Shoots in Black and White and That's Awesome

Illustration for article titled Leica M Monochrom Only Shoots in Black and White and That's Awesome

Leica's Latest addition to the M series of cameras is a bit different from the ones which came before it: the M Monochrom only shoots pictures in black and white. The $8000 full-frame camera is fully intended for enthusiasts and/or those with a bottomless bank account, and aims to explore the benefits of having a dedicated monochrome sensor (merely removing the color from a photo after the fact is hardly the same).

Advertisement

The M Monochrom is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, complete with an 18-megapixel, full-frame CCD sensor, ISO range up to 10,000, SD-based storage, and a 2.5-inch display. Many photo nerds argue that a dedicated B&W sensor will allow for shaper, more detailed imaging thanks to the lack of need for a color filter and ability to pickup more light. The camera itself is signature Leica design, with an all-black color scheme to go with the rounded edges of the body. A 50mm f2 Summicron lens also appeared alongside the M Monochrom today, which, at $7200, costs nearly as much as the camera itself. Those over on the rangefinderforum are in borderline disbelief, stating that it better be the greatest lens ever for that price.

Illustration for article titled Leica M Monochrom Only Shoots in Black and White and That's Awesome

But that's not the only announcement Leica had today. The Leica X2 is also here with a 16-megapixel APS-C sensor and 24mm f2.8 lens. The compact camera will shoot photos in 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratios, save to SD card, and display your shots on a 2.5-inch screen, in your choice of all black or black/silver, for $2000.

Also announced was the Leica V-Lux 40, which packs a 16-megapixel sensor, 24-480mm superzoom lens, GPS and 3-inch touchscreen into the body of a point-and-shoot. It's basically the same as the V-Lux 30, but with extra zoom (20x vs. 16x). All cameras are available for pre-order now and should be out later this year. [DP Review, 2, 3, 4]

DISCUSSION

So am I the only one who thinks the idea of a monochrome digital camera is silly? Why would a serious photographer want to give up the ability to manipulate the colors to create something interesting? Once you have a monochrome image you give up a lot of post processing options. I have never met a B&W photographer who didn't want to tweak the image in some way.

I know some photographers don't like post processing or want to get the shot exactly perfect in camera. But you can do that with a relatively cheaper Leica and still have color.

The camera matters so little in the quality of a photograph. Kinda like an expensive guitar doesn't make you a better guitarist. So with that said I definitely want one...